"Companions...who'd have thought I'd...have them again?"This character page is for the companions and allies who travel with Guts, the protagonist of Berserk, in his epic journey to cure Casca and get revenge on Griffith following the loss of his original True Companions in the Eclipse. Most of them officially joined his quest following the Conviction Arc, except for Puck who has been with him since the Black Swordsman Arc.
BEWARE OF UNMARKED SPOILERS! While we make an effort to cover some of the most important spoilers, we cannot guarantee that every potential spoiler will be hidden, or that those that are will be hidden consistently. Character bios in particular are likely to discuss late events in the manga. Lastly, some tropes are going to be spoilers because of their mere presence. You have been warned!
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Common Tropes For Guts' Companions
- Adaptational Early Appearance:
- Farnese, Azan, and Serpico appear among the guests at the victory ball in Berserk: The Golden Age Arc II, while in the manga they aren't introduced until the beginning of the Conviction Arc.
- While introducing Guts and Puck mostly as they appeared in the first episode of the manga, Berserk (2016) manages to insert introductions to most of Guts' future companions within the very first episode who originally debuted in much later volumes of the manga (though not as far apart in relation to the story's internal chronology since the manga proceeds in non-linear fashion):
- Farnese shows up with Serpico and Azan at the aftermath of the Eclipse—as they did in manga volume 14—within the very first minute of anime episode 1.
- Isidro shows up 18 volumes early at the tavern from which Guts rescues Puck, where he is shown to have joined a gang in search of adventure, but ended up waiting on tables for them, much to his disappointment.
- Schierke and Ivalera are shown a whole 22 volumes early as she senses the disturbance in the world created by Griffith, together with her mentor Flora who first appeared in volume 24.
- Action Survivor: They've all managed to survive through some horrific scenarios, mostly by virtue of hanging around Doom Magnet Guts. Considering how horrible the world is? They all need to be this in order to survive.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: All of them have helped Guts change massively from the brooding Sociopathic Hero he once was, turning him into a much more melancholic and somber kind of guy. It doesn't look like a lot, but considering what he was like before he met them, it's a welcome, if not needed, change.
- Dysfunction Junction: Everybody has some serious psychological baggage. Farnese used to be a Church Militant Pyromaniac, Serpico burnt his mother alive at the stake to prove his allegiance to Farnese, Isidro ran away from home to pursue a career as the greatest swordsman in the world, Schierke's mistress Flora was burnt alive in her home by Griffith's forces, Azan is an honorable knight who's seen some pretty nasty stuff at the Tower of Conviction, Magnifico is maladjusted from being his father's least favorite son, and Isma was ostracized for being different by her village, and she hated them for it, but came to regret it when they all were eaten by the Sea God. Roderick is pretty much the only one with a healthy backstory, while Puck and Ivalera managed to stay remarkably buoyant considering the tragedy they've witnessed in their human companions' lives. And that's not even getting into Guts and Casca's backstories...
- Fire-Forged Friends: Many of Guts' companions have started out being an annoyance to him (Puck), trying to kill him (Farnese, Serpico), trying to imprison him (Azan), trying to steal from him (Isidro), or just disliking him (Schierke). But through the mere fact that they have to depend on each other's help during fights against monsters, they've managed to form something like camaraderie.
- Knight of Cerebus: Inverted. While Griffith played this trope straight, these characters are meant to make the story much more lighthearted and less of a nightmare, and they've done this primarily by helping Guts change into a better person.
- Morality Pet: All of them serve as this for Guts. With Casca, this is a given. But everyone else serves as a tether for Guts to stay true to his humanity and reject the temptation to give into his inner rage — the temptation that Griffith and the Berserker Armor both present. Puck, however, was the first to get Guts to smile in two years, and allow him to actually let loose for the first time in a long time.
- Nominal Hero: With the exception of Azan and Schierke, the other characters are pretty much after their own goals and aspirations, and they hang around Guts because they see him as a way to achieve said goals. Isidro wants to become a great swordsman, Farnese wants to grow into a stronger person, Serpico follows her because he's her manservant and half-brother, etc. However, they do rein Guts in when he's being too un-heroic and push him into helping others when he could care less about doing so.
- Old Hero, New Pals: After the Band of the Hawk split apart (in a more literal sense than usual), these guys came in to provide some much-needed levity into Guts' life. They're sorely needed in this series.
- The Power of Friendship: Their relationship with Guts as a whole has helped him grow from the Chaotic Neutral Empty Shell Blood Knight he once was into a much more heroic, if still rough around the edges, and just slightly more compassionate man. He's at least not running on pure unadulterated rage in his fights as much as he used to, and with how much he's had to go through, that's a BIG accomplishment.
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The only good guys capable of saving the day who aren't under Griffith's thumb just happen to be the most mismatched and quirky team of unlikely heroes you could come up with. The Leader is a BFS-wielding, demon-slaying, ex-mercenary Nominal Hero with a Dark and Troubled Past, an Enemy Within, and a warrant for his arrest by the Holy See on charges of being a Walking Disaster Area. Following him we have an insane mute, a noblewoman who left behind her past as a Pyromaniac Knight Templar to become a witch's apprentice, her Heroic Bastard Battle Butler and Servile Snarker, a precociously mature and talented Child Mage with a pessimistic view of human nature, a hot-headed wannabe Kid Samurai who ran away from home to live as an Artful Dodger, an overly-chivalrous Large Ham Knight Errant who's been kicked out of his job and reduced to sleeping on boats, a hilariously useless Dirty Coward ex-banker on the run from his father, a dashing naval-adventuring Warrior Prince, and a hyperactive blue-haired girl fisherman who turns out to be a mermaid. Oh, and two Fairy Companions, one of whom is a sassy smart-ass and the other of which is a pop-culture impersonating goofball.
- Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: Guts is a Nominal Hero, and initially '90s Anti-Hero, who's deliberately callous and mean to anyone who tries to make friends with him, partly for their own good. Puck, his Fairy Companion, is a cheerful soul with a strong moral compass, often criticizing Guts for antagonizing people and acting as his Morality Chain whether he likes it or not. His other companions eventually serve as a collective Nice Sidekick to contrast with his brooding Rude Hero, pushing him to showcase some heroic qualities when he would care less about doing so and generally helping him become a kinder person by The Power of Friendship.
- Seen It All: Nothing surprises them anymore, after all the journeys they've gone through with Guts.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Primarily averted. While some of them share mild traits with Guts' old friends, their personalities differ greatly. Still, the prospect of losing them weighs heavily on the warrior's mind, because his growing bonds with these people remind him of those which he had with the Hawks.
- True Companions: Not quite, but they're getting there. Guts even recognizes how they're slowly growing on him, and he's very protective of all of them because of that. As such, his companions grow along with him and become equally willing to defend him at the cost of their own safety, when necessary.
- UST: Oh boy, it's all over the place with this group. In no short order; Guts still carries his torch for Casca that he did back in the Golden Age, but because of her current mental state he is unable to even go near her. Farnese and Schierke both have unrequited crushes on Guts, but they both are also aware that Guts is only in love with Casca. Farnese and Serpico have a lot of baggage from backstories, with Serpico having turned her down in the past, partly because he learned they are half-siblings. Roderick is Farnese's fiancé and is actively trying to woo her. Isidro is pretty blatant about his feelings towards Isma, but she seems to be oblivious to his advances.
- Weirdness Magnet: Guts is the Weirdness Magnet of the group. However, since everyone listed here decided to follow Guts, they've become Weirdness Magnets themselves.
- Younger and Hipper: The Hawks were seasoned mercenaries with an almost familial bond borne from their collective determination to fight in the pursuit of their dreams. These guys, on the other hand, are a more carefree Ragtag Bunch of Misfits consisting mainly of either pubescent children or people who've reached early adulthood. They start off on uneven ground with one another by virtue of their wildly differing backgrounds and perspectives, slowly inching their way to becoming True Companions out of continued reliance in each other's strengths on the battlefield.
Farnese de Vandimion (ファルネーゼ・ド・ヴァンディミオン, Farunēze do Vandimion)
Voiced by: Yuko Goto (Japanese, Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō), Yoko Hikasa (Japanese, Berserk (2016) and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk), Erica Lindbeck (English, Berserk (2016))
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 162 cm (5 ft, 4 in); Weight: 48 kg (105 lb, 13 oz); Age: 19
"I want to know what transcends the order I clung to. The truth. And I want to learn a way to live in the darkness where the light of that order does not reach."Introduced as the figurehead of the Holy Iron Chain Knights, she was supposedly a Lady of War, except that she has no combat experience whatsoever. She first meets Guts after his exhausting battle against Rosine and captures him.A frustrated Rebellious Princess with pyrophiliac tendencies, she gets thoroughly broken by Guts upon trying to whip him into submission with her barbed scourge. Seeing in him the epitome of heresy, she pledges to have him executed once he confesses.Yet, after witnessing the horrible events of the mock Eclipse at the Tower of Punishments, all of her convictions are destroyed and she stands corrected before Guts's survivability and his unwillingness to submit to Mozgus who she respected deeply. She eventually joins him, wanting to learn how to survive unaided in the world.She is not much of a combatant but is currently learning magic from Schierke and sometimes uses her silver dagger for defense. She is also very protective of Casca, even though she has a crush on Guts. She recently Took a Level in Badass and is much more combative than what she used to be.
- Adrenaline Makeover: Played with. When Farnese gradually becomes much stronger as a person, she acts more introverted and modest. She also trades-in her Girlish Pigtails (which symbolized her naivety) for a simpler, more travel-friendly Bob Haircut.
- Animal Motifs: The stoat. A noblewoman but rather weak in comparison to her comrades (physically stronger than Schierke though). Yet she's not helpless and isn't afraid to stab her assailants to defend herself.
- Arranged Marriage: When she was sixteen, her father grew tired of her willfulness and arranged for her to marry a certain member of royalty for the sake of the family; it was called off when she set the house on fire and she was sent to a monastery. Years later, it happens to her again when Magnifico engages her to Roderick.
- The Atoner: By following Guts she hopes to atone for the atrocities she committed on behalf of the Holy See.
- Blue Blood: The Vandimion family is the most wealthy and powerful in Vritannis, and has the same status as royalty. Her illustrious blood is the reason she was chosen to lead the Holy Iron Chain Knights, and causes many of the other events that happen to her.
- Break the Haughty: Farnese starts out as an arrogant and holier-than-thou Knight Templar with a history of abusing her servants, but witnessing and surviving so many unimaginable terrors and coming to terms with her own general lack of skills made her a quieter and much more humble person.
- The Caretaker: Ends up taking up this role for Casca when she joins Guts' group.
- Cherry Tapping: A scared senseless Farnese takes down Guts this way, but he was beaten to a pulp already and he really just tripped and fell on her sword, leaving her stunned in disbelief. Nice throw, Serpico!
- Chew Toy: Guts definitely got a few chuckles out of messing with this kinky little bugger's head early on. Not so much after she joins Guts's group.
- The Chick: Ends up becoming the conflict mediator of the group, largely because she cares for Casca and is also the connection between Guts and Serpico.
- Childhood Friend Romance: She and Serpico have been together most of their lives with him as her servant boy and she developed feelings for him in their teenage years, unaware that he is actually her half-brother.
- Chronic Pet Killer: That poor bird. Gone the way as the last one... and the one before that... (and the dog too...). Probably a thing of the past, though.
- Cowardly Lion: Farnese gets scared out of her mind very often, but instead of running away she will slice anything that comes close to Casca with that dagger of hers.
- Cruel to Be Kind: In her backstory with Serpico she forced him to burn his mother at the stake. An insanely cruel act, but prior to it Serpico in shock let it slip that she was his mother in front of the priests, and had Farnese not stepped in to get him to "prove his loyalty," Serpico would have likely been burned as a heretic by association.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: As a teenager and into her adulthood, she was turned on by people burning alive to the point where she spends some "alone time" thinking very hard about that.
- Demonic Possession: At one time she was possessed by a ghost, which mocked her for her insecurities and suppressed urges and tried to get her to kill herself using Guts sword.
- Enfante Terrible: Known as "the devil child of the Vandimion" since childhood because of the way she abused the servants and created chaos.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Though she was quite a sadist during her Knight Templar days in the Holy Iron Chain Knights, and was not above giving heretics A Taste of the Lash or burning them at the stake, Farnese was notably disturbed and horrified by the torture techniques employed by Mozgus.
- Extreme Doormat: Despite her tyrannical bossiness towards her subordinates such as Serpico, she can't stand up for herself in front of authority figures like her father or the Church, even about something as important to her as being married off against her will. She tends to take it out on those beneath her instead, and her father knows that she is obedient in his presence but terrible when he's not looking. As she undergoes Character Development and becomes kinder, this problem actually becomes even worse since she has broken with her domineering leader persona and continues to lack self-esteem. However, her mother recognizes that she has Silk Hiding Steel even if she doesn't realize it, and warns Magnifico that his sister is most unpredictable when she's acting obedient.
- Fan Disservice: Several times she appears naked or pleasures herself in situations that are used to highlight her mental instability and sense of guilt instead of being played for titillation.
- Faux Action Girl: An in-universe example. Farnese leads the Holy Iron Chain Knights, but they never expect her to actually fight. The Knights are traditionally led by a maiden, so she is entirely there for looks and because she comes from a noble family.
- Florence Nightingale Effect: How she and Serpico met. After he was beat up by some local bullies and left in the snow, Farnese finds Serpico and brings him back to her family's mansion. She begins to nurse him back to health, but says that he has to be her servant boy from then on.
- Similarly, her growing feelings for Guts becomes more noticeable from the moment she first practices healing magic on him. She even utters the phrase, "Right now, my warmth is flowing into and around you," within her mind as she tearfully embraces the fact that she, at long last, has found a way to be of direct help to the struggling swordsman. The event gets capped off by her more-or-less forbidding Guts to go see Casca in a subtle display of jealousy, on the excuse that he'll only agitate her and that he needs to rest more.
- Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Her stuffed rabbit mentioned in the entry for Lonely Doll Girl.
- Green-Eyed Monster: It's subtle, but her deepening attraction to Guts also brings with it a growing sense of jealousy towards Casca. Notice the longing looks she throws his way every time she catches him displaying his devotion towards Casca, best exemplified when the party first encounters the Moon Child: while everyone else is quick to observe how the boy seemed to draw Guts and Casca closer together (if even for a fleeting moment), Farnese is the only one to look visibly uncomfortable at the idea (something Serpico takes notice). This comes to a point where she finally lashes out her frustrations at Casca after yet another one of her crazy escapades ends up causing more unneeded trouble for the already exhausted Guts, but stops herself short, knowing that it's not entirely the woman's fault, being the way she is.
- Green Thumb: Can now control familiars made out of thorns, thanks to Schierke's tutelage.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Her hair's as blond as ever, but she's also become one of the most empathetic and gentle characters in the manga after her Character Development.
- Heel–Face Turn: Started off as a mentally unhinged Knight Templar antagonistic to Guts. Since joining him, she's mellowed out considerably, become more grounded, and much more kind in general.
- Heel Realization: Farnese hears a voice in her head telling her that her Knight Templar activities are just an excuse to indulge her sadistic sexual urges, and she secretly feels like she's a terrible person. During the Conviction Arc she also agonizes over being complicit in a campaign of persecution that she increasingly recognizes as being wrong, but doesn't have the courage to refuse. Deciding to follow Guts is what finally provides her with a constructive goal to change herself.
- Hero-Worshipper: Since the end of the Conviction Arc, she's put Guts on a pedestal, having witnessed firsthand his unflinching resolve against overwhelming adversity to the point where she considers him the only certain hope in a world full of doubts and deceit. Her admiration for him runs so deep that any kind word he sends her way is bound to make her cry Tears of Joy.
- Hot Witch: Shaping up to be one with lessons from Schierke. With a lot of aspects of a White Mage too since she has been focusing on defense and healing instead of blowing up armies.
- Hysterical Woman: She was subject to violent mood swings while growing up and leading the Iron Chain Knights, and would often become too emotional to make rational decisions. This only increased the contempt of her subordinates, who took it as proof that women are unfit to lead troops.
- Important Haircut: To prove her determination to follow Guts (and change herself for the better), she used her sword to cut off the Girlish Pigtails she had worn as the Iron Chain Knights' leader.
- Inspector Javert: As leader of the Iron Chain Knights, her mission at the time she encountered Guts was to capture the Black Swordsman and take him to the Holy See to answer for the carnage he left in his wake. It really looked like Guts was guilty too, as the demons he killed always turn back to their human form, making it look like he massacred huge numbers of regular humans to anyone who didn't witness it.
- Jeanne d'Archétype: Subverted. The figurehead of the Holy Iron Chain Knights is always a woman, so she appears to be this trope, only she doesn't have any actual fighting skills and the voices she hears in her head are actual demons. And you know, the pyromania and the Knight Templar ways.
- Kicked Upstairs: Her leadership of the Iron Chain Knights was largely symbolic and used in an attempt to keep her from causing trouble.
- Knife Nut: Wields a silver dagger, which is super-effective against supernatural creatures. Later on she also uses it to perform magic rituals.
- Knight Templar: During her time as the Holy See's figurehead she zealously hunted and burned heretics, in the process killing many innocent people including Serpico's mother.
- Lady of War: Double Subversion. During her time as leader of the Holy Iron Chain Knights, she was dressed as one but could hardly fight. She later starts genuinely working towards this, including teaching herself to fight with a dagger and learning sorcery from Schierke.
- The Load: Was initially one among Guts' party and realized it. It made her want to learn sorcery from Schierke. Played with in that Guts doesn't consider her the load at all: at one point he tells her how relieved he is that she's around to look after Casca, which he would do himself, but Casca, in her brain-damaged state, is terrified of him.
- Lonely Doll Girl: She use to have a stuffed rabbit that her father bought for her on a family outing that was her Security Blanket, but then her father told her to dispose of it because she was getting to old for it. Judging by the way that she did get rid of it, it probably didn't improve her troubled mindset.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Her family was endlessly wealthy, and showered her with toys and gifts as a substitute for actually being there for her. The servants all feared her because of her volatile behavior, and Serpico was the only companion who stayed with her.
- Loves the Sound of Screaming: During her Knight Templar Church Militant days she enjoyed burning people alive, and though she is The Atoner now and ashamed of what she did, her sadism is presented somewhat sympathetically. See Pyromaniac, below, for details.
- A Match Made in Stockholm: Guts and Farnese first meet in this sort of fashion. She is assigned to capture and kill Guts, and Guts ends up kidnapping and holding her hostage twice. During this time period, her future infatuation and admiration towards him is foreshadowed and hinted at.
- Mistress and Servant Boy: Her relationship with Serpico is that of a dutiful servant and demanding young mistress, with complicated emotional undertones.
- Not So Different: Despite one being a religious fundamentalist heretic hunter and the other being a heretical cult member, Farnese and Nina aren't so different after all. Neither of them embraced religion or heresy out of love of faith so much as they wanted something behind which to hide from their fears. Both of them were afraid of being judged as sinners by God, and had dark sexual urges that they didn't know what to do with. The only difference is that they chose entirely opposed outlets. They're insecure souls who hurt their loved ones as a defense mechanism, but secretly hate themselves. During Guts' fight with Mozgus' torturers, Farnese actually looks at Nina cowering amidst the chaos and sees herself reflected in her. As it turns out, both of them had the capacity to change for the better, since they both found a constructive way to start their lives anew by the end of the Arc.
- Office Lady: While certainly not the modern office employee the trope normally describes, Miura was thinking of this trope when he created her. She's similar to the "office flower" in that she was hired more for decoration than for being expected to handle actual responsibilities, and faces a similar climate of sexism and condescension.Miura: An office lady who joined society 1-2 years ago, getting used to her job and feeling anxiety about this man's world" was the concept (laughs). She's trying her best in the male society of her knight order, but doesn't mix well with the surroundings, butts heads with them and sometimes her dissatisfaction takes sexual form [...] If you expose such an unstable woman to Mozgus and his strong impact, she will surely fall for religion. Long story short: Farnese is an "office lady who joined a dangerous cult."note
- Pyro Maniac: For much of her life she was obsessed with setting fires and watching living things burn. However, in contrast to the crazy pyromaniac archetype, Farnese is deeply ashamed and frightened by her obsession. After masturbating to the thought of people burning at the stake, she is shown huddling on her bed and tearfully trying to convince herself "I am not in the wrong." Also, the pyromania, along with her sadism is traced to her spoilt but lonely childhood, where the sounds of other people's screaming would make her forget her own loneliness and depression.
- Rebellious Princess: Deconstructed. She becomes one because of her lack of parental love, and this earns her the social isolation it would earn her in real life medieval Europe.
- The Resenter: Sometimes feels resentment towards Casca for being the center of Guts' affection and the reason he puts himself through so much harm, without Casca even being able to realize what he does for her sake. She is ashamed of thinking this, though, and nevertheless cares for and protects Casca in the hopes doing so will help her atone for her sins.
- Security Blanket: She would cling to her stuffed rabbit to comfort her fears.
- Series Continuity Error: Farnese's age is listed as 19 as of the Elf Island arc in the official Berserk databook, making her 17 when she first joined up with Guts and 13 when she was shipped off to a convent appointed the commander of the Holy Chain Knights. However, the manga states that she was 16 when her father shipped her off to the convent and she was appointed the Holy Chain Knights' figurehead, which would make her around 22 by the time of the Elf Island arc.
- Silver Has Mystic Powers: Her dagger is made of silver, as well as the chainmail she and Casca wear under their garments.
- Stepford Smiler: Used to act charming and obedient in her father's presence while taking out her rage on Serpico and other servants, or on the so-called heretics she sent burning at the stake.
- Surprise Incest: Serpico is her half-brother, but she isn't aware of this and had developed feelings for him in their teenage years. After being informed of her arranged marriage she even made a very emotionally charged advance on him. Serpico, being in the know, resisted and after that there was nothing else between them except a mistress and servant relationship.
- A Taste of the Lash: Used to use the whip on both herself and others as an expression of the association between torture and her sexuality.
- Team Mom: Due to her role as Casca's caretaker and her willingness to take care of everyone's basic needs, she qualifies as one of these.
- Throwing Down the Gauntlet: While a teenager she became infamous for challenging men to duels for insulting her honor—in at least one case, by speaking ill of Serpico's common origins. In the incident shown she gave the other party a Glove Slap, said This Is Unforgivable!, and demanded that he fight Serpico since as a woman she could not fight on her own behalf.
- Tiny Tyrannical Girl: When she was younger she treated Serpico like her slave and made him do all sorts of hazardous and unreasonable things.
- Took a Level in Badass: Not the most violent member of the party, but has shown to be willing to take a more active part in battle, as seen during the attack of the Kushan tigers in Vritannis in which she could effectively ward off two of them. She took another level recently, acting as a Barrier Maiden to keep the crew of the Seahorse safe while Schierke (on whom the duty would normally fall) was held up elsewhere.
- Took a Level in Kindness: Joining Guts and caring for Casca caused her to discover her compassion, and she is developing into one of the most empathetic characters in the series.
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: This defined her childhood. She engaged in all sorts of petty cruelties as a young girl, often tormenting her servants and burning her pets alive. Perhaps the most troubling was when she took part in a witch-burning event, tossing multiple torches upon the heretics and fueling her sexual fetish for fire at an early age.
- Weapon of Choice: The silver dagger given to her from Flora, which contains silver and repels the supernatural. During her crazed Knight Templar days she favored the whip as an instrument of punishment and interrogation.
- Whip It Good: In order to help her in combat, Schierke gives her a couple of coils of magical thorny vines that she can use to entangle and injure enemies. They soon become her main Weapon of Choice. The symbolism of someone who was once a repressed Knight Templar with a taste for extreme BDSM now using whips to aid and protect her friends is obvious.
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
- After joining Guts, Farnese frequently thinks that she's useless and doesn't belong. However, others including Guts and Roderick sometimes tell her that she's being too hard on herself and is making a valuable contribution to the team.
- In Vritannis, she feels despondent because she can't stand up to her father or help her friends. Her mother tells her that in reality her father is the one who doesn't know how to handle her uncontrollable passion, and that because she has such a sensitive soul she could learn to be kinder than anyone else.
Serpico (セルピコ, Serupiko)
Voiced by: Takahiro Mizushima (Japanese, Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō), Kazuyuki Okitsu (Japanese, Berserk (2016) and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk) Max Mittelman (English, Berserk (2016)
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 175 cm (5 ft, 9 in); Weight: 63 kg (138 lb, 14 oz); Age: 20
"You clash head-on with your own destiny. Compared to my cooled demeanor, that is a life similar to being scorched by hellfire itself. While I arrayed myself in feigned ignorance, perhaps before I knew it, I too was affected by that heat."Farnese's servant, bodyguard, and constant companion since childhood, Serpico is completely devoted to her and seldom questions her decisions. Although he presents the impression of merely being a harmless goofball, anyone who gets on his bad side by threatening Farnese will learn that he is deadly serious about protecting her and is an extremely dangerous opponent. A Fragile Speedster with impressive sword skills, he relies on his cunning to turn more powerful opponents' size and equipment against them, especially by choosing terrain that will favor his fighting style while restricting theirs. He is also a herald of arms, and has extensive knowledge about the histories and coats of arms of various countries.At first, Serpico was not happy about Farnese's decision to follow Guts, and resigned himself to her wishes out of obligation. Wary of Guts's Superpowered Evil Side and distrustful of Guts's ability to control it, he confronted him about this several times. Their differences were finally settled by a duel in Vritannis, where he showed once more his superior tactical skills but lost to Guts. After being defeated, Serpico has stopped acting hostile towards Guts and has grown to respect and appreciate him, as shown when both worked together in sync to defeat Ganishka's chief sorcerer Daiba.The magical gifts given to him by Flora include a fan-like sword with a blade made of feathers blessed by the Wind spirits which can bisect his opponents clean, and a cloak that grants him the power of flight and protection against the elements.
- Abusive Parents: Serpico's mother was invalid, delusional, and burdened him with more pride and expectations than he could bear even though he was already taking care of her single-handed. Perhaps it wasn't entirely her fault because her mind wasn't all there, but it had the effect of emotional abuse.
- Adorkable: Quite so given his klutzy behavior (though a charade), his doormat-ish demeanor, and Bishōnen good looks. Aw, Serpie!
- Animal Motifs: The fox, according to Guts whenever they spar or fight with each other. During his time with the Holy Iron Chain Knights, he had a helmet shaped like a kitsune mask, representing a kind of mythological fox spirit who are known for being tricksters.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Serpico can analyze minute details of the terrain and his opponent's equipment and fighting style in order to even the odds even against a freakishly strong opponent like Guts.
- Badass Normal: Before getting his wind powers he fights using nothing but his sword skills, smarts, and athleticism. Whenever Serpico fights, the audience is guaranteed a show of lethal cunning and death-defying stunts. This is the guy whose resourcefulness in combat has even Guts, the King of Badass, admitting that he had to push himself to the limit in their latest duel.
- Bash Brothers: Downplayed Trope, of Guts' companions, Serpico is the one with the most combat experience and tends to serve as Guts' backup during fights. For much of their journey though, the two had some trust issues however. This gets squashed in Vritannis, in time for the two to work together to defeat Daiba.
- Battle Butler: For all intents and purposes he is Farnese's glorified personal valet, but he also serves as a highly effective bodyguard.
- Big Brother Instinct: Serpico has been through everything with Farnese since childhood and feels responsible for protecting her because he's the stronger one. And because he is actually her half-brother. He also eventually becomes protective of the younger party members Isidro and Schierke.
- Bishōnen: In contrast to Guts' tower of muscle and testosterone, Serpico is the slender, boyish, and fair-haired picture of refined elegance.
- Blow You Away: Has a wind-elemental enchanted sword and cloak, notably, the sword can do Razor Wind.
- Bodyguard Crush: His feelings toward Farnese are rather complicated. He knows that he's her half-brother, but she doesn't. When she came onto him after learning that she was to be married off, he rejected her advances. Even so, the subtext is there.
- Combat Pragmatist: Uses every trick at his disposal whenever he fights Guts, starting with the selection of the terrain and extending to maneuvers like snatching Guts' own bombs and using them against him. At one moment he flat-out admits that he has no choice except to do this, since he could never beat Guts in a totally 'fair' fight.
- Covered in Scars: When Farnese examines him shirtless he is covered in scars from all the duels he has fought for her honor. He would always cause the fight to end in a non-lethal double hit so that both combatants could call it even with their honor intact; Farnese angrily states that because of his skill he would have gone unscathed if he had not held back from killing his opponents.
- Deadpan Snarker: Never runs out of sarcastic quips, and has a silver tongue to match his rapier wit.
- Defeat Means Friendship: After Guts soundly defeats him in Vritannis, all their differences seem settled. This was not just because Guts defeated him, but because Guts fought full force without relying on the Berserker armor, convincing Serpico that he would not lose control to his Superpowered Evil Side and attack Farnese as he had feared.
- Diagonal Cut: The wind-blessed feather sword he uses in battle has this effect.
- Disappeared Dad: Because he was a bastard, his father never took care of him or his mother. After rediscovering his son, Federico took responsibility for him but never did anything to help her.
- Enigmatic Minion: Before Guts learned more about him, Serpico came across as a mysterious antagonist.
- Expy: Miura says that he made Serpico to embody a certain type of "dream man" for female readers, the kind who is always at his lady's side and always thinks of her before himself: "Said directly, he's Andre from Rose of Versailles."note
- Extreme Doormat: The other Iron Chain Knights see Serpico as one of these, calling him Farnese's personal lap dog. It's subverted or at least downplayed from the start because he does sometimes refuse her orders, and afterwards his Character Development has him becoming more of his own person.
- Eyes Always Shut: At least always when he is playing nice, when Serpico happens to open his eyes both his expresion and the situation are turning nasty.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Initially hostile to Guts, Serpico has warmed up to him only in the process of facing the same dangers together.
- Fragile Speedster: Typically goes unarmored for greater mobility, and capable of lightning-quick attacks with his rapier. Taken Up to Eleven when he gains his wind sword, which can attack from a distance and grants him limited flight.
- Heroic Bastard: The illegitimate offspring of a nobleman and a maidservant, and exactly the kind of underdog hero that readers like to root for.
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: While his miserable life taking care of his mother is played dead serious, a montage of scenes featuring him being abused by Farnese as her servant boy is Played for Laughs.
- Honor Before Reason: Zig-Zagged. Serpico has a complicated relationship with this trope because he takes Farnese's honor very seriously and will do anything for her within his abilities, no matter how unreasonable the cause, but prefers to settle things his own way and retaliates pragmatically, only attacking when he sees vulnerability and withdrawing when he's lost the advantage.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Farnese does not know how to fight or even take care of herself, so Serpico has to be competent enough for the both of them to compensate.
- In a Single Bound: Thanks to his magical cloak, he can leap tall buildings and cover huge distances by jumping with the help of the wind spirits.
- In-Series Nickname: Puck calls him "Picolin."
- I Wished You Were Dead: At one heretic burning, he is shocked and horrified to find his mother tied to a stake, about to be set on fire. His internal monologue questions if this is her revenge for the fact that he hated her and sometimes wished she were dead so that he could be free of her yoke.
- Kill the Ones You Love: When his mother turns up tied to a stake during a heretic burning, and Serpico involuntarily utters the word "mother" upon recognizing her, Farnese demands that he prove his loyalty to her by throwing the torch on the bonfire. Serpico did not want to do it even though he had hated her and often wished her dead, but ultimately he obeyed Farnese and they set the fire together.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: One of his greatest virtues is knowing when to withdraw and live to fight another day. Far from being a coward, Serpico is recklessly brave and will expose himself to extreme danger provided his plan has even a small chance of working. However, he will give it up when it becomes clear that he can't win.
- The Lancer: Although he doesn't always approve of his "leader's" ways, he drifts into the role of being Guts' right hand man in combat after joining his party.
- Long-Lost Relative: Farnese turns out to be his half-sister, and by extension her brothers Giorgio, Poliziano, and Magnifico are his half-brothers.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: One day young Serpico discovered that Federico do Vandimion is his father when the later recognized the locket picture of his mother. This simultaneously revealed that he had a half-sibling: Farnese.
- Master Swordsman: Guts himself admits that Serpico is an excellent swordsman as well as a cunning planner. Before joining the Iron Chain Knights he fought countless duels, and the practice shows. However, his lack of raw power compared to Guts forces him to rely as much on acrobatics and tactical awareness as skill with a blade.
- Mistress and Servant Boy: His relationship with Farnese, which during their teenage years began to bear "strange fruit":"Since when was it that, despite her bent shape, Lady Farnese came to have feelings for me beyond those of a mistress for her servant?"
- Muscles Are Meaningful: Serpico's cut but lean musculature indicates he's a fine specimen of a Fragile Speedster who relies on evasion, in contrast to more massively muscled tanks like Guts.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: Serpico considers it his duty to follow and support Farnese no matter what. Even if he acknowledges that she is wrong, he usually does not contradict her unless what she wants is simply impossible.
- Noble Male, Roguish Male: Plays the Noble Male to Guts' Roguish Male.
- Not Quite Flight: Serpico's Sylph Cloak, imbued with wind elemental spirits, allows him to move at quick speeds and essentially glide through the air when he jumps.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Purposefully pretends to be a kluzty and laid back doormat so that people will underestimate him, even though he is actually very competent and serious. The charming clumsiness is just an act from the start, and should not be confused with Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: Has a locket containing a portrait of his mother and father when they were young. Although it's technically not an orphan's plot trinket because his parents were both alive, it does lead him to the truth of who his father really is.
- I Owe You My Life: His service to Farnese was initially because she rescued him from the street, and she actually Invoked this trope by saying he belonged to her because she saved his life. The reason he stays, however, is that he finds out how lonely and twisted she is from being neglected by her parents, and feels like the only person who can really take care of her.
- Parental Neglect: His father never even bothered to look for him and his mother, much less care for them, and only starts supporting him when he rediscovers his identity.
- Peek-a-Bangs: The locks of hair hiding his eyes make him look cunning when he gets serious, and also symbolize the deception and concealment of his Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Razor Wind: His feather sword creates gusts of wind that neatly cut things in two.
- The Rival: Not the main antagonist to Guts in any sense, but acts as a challenging recurring foe to him. Serpico develops more and more grudging respect for Guts each time they fight, and the feeling is mutual.
- Royal Rapier: Wields a rapier with finesse, and is a low-ranking noble of the Vandimion family.
- Sarcastic Devotee: Probably the most cynical member on the team (next to Guts anyway) but wrapped in a snarky layer of goodness that prevents him from being a deserter, mainly for Farnese's sake.
- Satellite Character: Invoked. Serpico devotes everything to Farnese, following her wherever she goes, and the decisions he makes independent of her are always done for her sake. The fact that she has been drifting away from him has been leaving Serpico unsure of what his future really holds.
- Servile Snarker: He follows Farnese's every whim and comes across as a bit of a doormat, but he snarks at everyone including Farnese herself.
- Sherlock Scan: When the Holy Iron Chain Knights catch up to Guts' trail of corpses in the Lost Children chapter, Sir Azan says the bodies look like they were blasted apart by cannon fire and supposes the Black Swordsman must have been leading a group of soldiers. Serpico corrects him by stating he thinks it was done by one man, noticing that the wounds appear on closer inspection to have been caused by some kind of massive blade swung at incredible speed. Seeing that the bodies are all in the same state he guesses they were killed with the same kind of blade, and that it would seem unnatural to propose that more than one man exists who could handle such a freakish weapon.
- Shirtless Scene: A couple of times he is seen without his shirt, such as when receiving Flora's gifts and in the flashback when Farnese inspects his dueling scars.
- The Stoic: Almost never loses his cool, even in battles. When he does, it means things are getting serious.
- Surprise Incest: There was a time when Serpico saw Farnese in a romantic light. But when he finds out that she's actually his half-sister, his feelings for her become more brotherly. He resisted when she made a sexual advance on him, which she took as a painful rejection. After she was sent to a convent for trying to burn the mansion down, he recalls that whatever romantic feelings had developed between them were snuffed out.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: A stoic pretty boy lancer who fights with a saber and has a rivalry with Guts? They even have a similar way of being genial and childish when at ease but getting a frightening intensity in their eyes when fighting for something they care about: In Griffith's case it's being Yandere towards Guts, and in Serpico's case it's being violently protective of Farnese. At the same time their personalities could hardly be more different, since Griffith is ambitious and tries to control other people while Serpico has devoted his life to serving someone else.
- Team Chef: The most competent cook in the group, who usually prepares everyone's meals.
- Weapon of Choice: Starts as a saber user, and after acquiring his magical fan sword from Flora depends mostly on that weapon. The rapier that he uses in Vritannis fits his style as well, but has no more need for it after he gets his magical gifts back. All of these weapons emphasize his fencing skill, sophistication, and in the case of the fan sword the wind magic he uses.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Unlike Griffith, a chessmaster whose plans account for all possibilities, and Guts, who relies purely on the Indy Ploy, Serpico will go into a fight with an initial plan but modify it in reaction to unexpected setbacks. When he duels Guts in the Birth Ceremony Chapter, he chooses a narrow ledge as the place to encounter Guts so that he can effectively negate Guts' weapons and physical abilities, relentlessly attacking him with his sword so that Guts has no chance to attack and can only block with his iron hand. When Guts turns the tables by performing a Barehanded Blade Block and breaking Serpico's sword, freeing him to use his repeating crossbow, Serpico dives under the incoming bolts, swings to the other side of the ledge, pickpockets one of Guts' miniature bombs that he'd only seen once before, and uses the explosion to escape.
Isidro (イシドロ, Ishidoro)
Voiced by: Hiroyuki Yoshino (Japanese, Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō), Hiro Shimono (Japanese, Berserk (2016) and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk), Erik Kimerer (English, Berserk (2016))
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 130 cm (4 ft, 3 in); Weight: 48 kg (92 lb, 9.5 oz); Age: 14
hot-headed young vagabond who ran away from home in search of adventure about a year before we first see him, Isidro supports himself through thievery as an Artful Dodger, but dreams of becoming the ultimate swordsman. In this regard he is comically Wrong Genre Savvy, acting as if he's the main character of a Shōnen manga and using overly flashy swordsmanship instead of playing to his natural strength as a Combat Pragmatist. Upon first witnessing Guts cut down a whole unit of Kushan Scouts single-handed, Isidro follows him out of hero-worship and admiration, though he claims to Puck that he just wants to "steal" Guts' technique for himself; Puck offers to instruct Isidro in "Elf Dimension Style," a Running Gag that inaugurates their partnership in goofy Comic Relief. Although cocky and abrasive, as well as a bit of a pervert, Isidro can also be surprisingly chivalrous and brave. He risks his life to protect Casca and Nina during the Chapter of the Birth Ceremony, including an Indy Ploy that saves Casca from burning at the stake.Despite trying his best and taking lessons from Guts, he is still not very effective in combat at first due to his rashness, use of an adult-sized longsword that throws him off balance, and fixation on imitating Guts instead of using techniques suited to his smaller frame. In the Chapter of the Holy Demon War, he takes an immediate dislike to Schierke for being stuck up and bossy, while at the same time her great power and experience aggravate his own insecurity and sense of uselessness. While he's brooding, an old man named Morgan offers him advice and gives him a short falchion to use with his spinning techniques. When Isidro swallows his pride and decides to develop his own style by combining the falchion with Flora's fire dagger in a Dual Wielding technique incorporating rapid dodges and spins, he manages to defeat a troll leader and begins to realize his potential. Over time his relationship with Schierke has improved, to the point where they are more like Vitriolic Best Buds. In the Fantasia Arc he has become attracted to the new party member Isma, though whether anything will come of it has yet to be determined.
- Accidental Pervert: Many times he just happens upon indecently-dressed women, like Nina and Isma. He also accidentally gropes Schierke's chest when they first meet.
- Animal Motifs: The monkey. He shows several traits and behaviors associated with monkeys such as being weak compared to their predators but good at acrobatics and climbing, stealing food and anything that isn't nailed down, fighting by throwing projectiles such as rocks, and by being generally rude, mischievous, and cheeky. Several people he meets make this connection (see Phrase Catcher), and Schierke not only calls him one whenever he's being a dick but punished him for accidentally groping her by casting a spell on him to make him act like a monkey, much to his indignation.
- The Apprentice: Isidro begins receiving instruction from Guts in the ways of swordsmanship after joining the party, although unlike most apprenticeships this does not involve learning and imitating the style of his master. Guts states that he does not have time to teach him properly and his own fighting style is not suitable or Isidro anyway, so he tries to encourage Isidro's natural talents and get rid of the bad habits he developed while trying to imitate his ideal.
- The Artful Dodger: After running away from home he supported his vagrant lifestyle through thievery, demonstrating the ability to carry off absurdly large amounts of stolen food and valuables inside his clothes. Even after joining Guts' new group and gaining some stability he still occasionally pickpockets people and shoplifts from merchants.
- Bleed 'em and Weep: Happens in a Downplayed manner while fighting the pirates on the docks in Vritannis. He almost has a Heroic B.S.O.D. after he cuts down his first enemy who he realizes was a human rather than a monster (he didn't kill them outright, but gave them heavily bleeding wounds). Mule criticizes him for his softheartedness, telling him he's no fighter if he doesn't have killer instinct.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Rude, ill-mannered, he is a master at the art of provoking and pissing people off.
- Butt-Monkey: Whenever there's some slapstick comedy to be had, he's often on the receiving end.
- Casanova Wannabe: Believes himself to be a Kid A Nova. Luca and her girls weren't too impressed by him, though.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Isidro's a good kid, as he won't hesitate to help people, especially girls. However, he does have his pervy side, as he's tried to peek at Casca bathing on more than one occasion (though he's thwarted each time).
- Combat Pragmatist: When not aping Guts' sword techniques, he uses his agility and guile to great effect.
- Deliberately Cute Child: His usual tactic to bail himself out of situations where he's been caught red-handed, or to trick people into trusting him so he can con them.
- Dirty Kid: Has frequently displayed incredibly lewd behavior, at one point even fantasizing about having sex with five prostitutes at once.
- Disaster Scavengers: Before meeting Guts, he was surviving by pilfering whatever food or useful items he could find amid the disasters of plague and war.
- Dual Wielding: Usually uses both his falchion and his fire dagger in battle.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: His fighting style when fighting groups in close quarters is to spin and roll around at high speeds, attacking weak points and dodging attacks.
- Fiery Redhead: Red-headed and Hot-Blooded. It's emphasized by the fact that his magical weapon is a fire dagger.
- Flipping the Bird: As Captain Bonebeard retreats with his tail between his legs having been repelled by the captain and crew of the Seahorse, the cheeky Isidro sees him off with a combined Bicep-Polishing Gesture and middle-finger-salute, shouting "I hope a shark bites your ass!"
Guts: (It's been embellished...)
- Isidro idolizes Guts and follows him because he wants to learn from him and become a Master Swordsman himself, but he isn't good for much besides gawking at Guts' heroics and the occasional Indy Ploy before he Took a Level in Badass during the fight in Qliphoth.
- Humorously, Isidro was inspired to take up the sword by listening to stories of The Band of the Hawk, particularly their Raid Commander, though Isidro can't remember what his name was. Leads to a hilarious scene where Isidro goes into fanboy mode and starts listing off all the stories he's heard about "the Hundred Man Slayer"... with an embarrassed looking Guts standing a few feet behind him.
- Hormone-Addled Teenager: Being in the throes of puberty, his head's already loaded with plans to lose his virginity and such. He imagines Luca and her girls rewarding him with a "five-in-one service," for starters...
- Hot Blade: Wields a broad-bladed dagger covered in Salamanders, fire elementals hot enough to burn through almost anything and instantly (and messily) kill anything he stabs with it.
- Hot-Blooded: Prone to shouting at the top of his lungs to both friends and enemies about how he's about to do something awesome or going to become the greatest swordsman in the world.
- Improv Fu: His fighting style of choice. He makes up his moves as he goes along, uses anything at hand to confuse his foes and usually goes about skipping and evading blows thanks to his agility and his small size.
- Indy Ploy: Improvises a means to rescue Casca from burning at the stake using a rope to lower himself down from the wall above and a counterweight to pull them back up.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He tends to act rude and tactless even towards people he likes, but he cares a lot more than he lets on. In Vritannis, for example, he hurt Schierke's feelings more than he meant to by knocking her hat into the street, and when she stormed off on her own he searched the city for her with great urgency and rushed to her aid when she was in danger.
- Jumped at the Call: He just up and left his home one day with a sword in hand to seek his own personal fortune, and has been following Guts ever since first seeing him.
- I Just Want to Be Badass: Deconstructed. Because he emulates Guts and his BFS, he tries to fight like him while being oblivious to his own fighting style: he's scrawny and small, but he's fast, quick-witted, and handy with thrown weapons and short blades. Once he starts focusing on his own strengths instead of trying in vain to imitate Guts, he becomes a legitimately good fighter.
- Kid-Appeal Character: A subversion. The series isn't aimed at kids in the first place, but if it was, he'd be one since he ticks most of the boxes.
- Kid Samurai: Deconstructed. Due to the cynical tendencies of the series, it is clearly implied that Isidro would make little impression on the battlefield due to his size and lack of skills. To be fair, Guts' tutelage is beginning to pay off.
- Knife Nut: At first he insisted on using a full-sized sword even though he wasn't suited for it, but he eventually settles of a combination of Flora's fire dagger and the falchion he got from Morgan, which is basically a curved, single-edged short sword not that different from a big knife.
- Mouthy Kid: Acts like a smartass towards everyone else in the party. But after some tutelage from Guts and more exposition to the reality of battle, he mellows out considerably, becoming more respectful and attentive to Guts' advice and commands. He still mouths off to people he doesn't know, though...
- No Indoor Voice: The kid with the mouth has a very loud one at that. Was lampshaded here.
- Nose Bleed: Tends to suffer nosebleeds as a result of sexual arousal, with a particularly amusing one being when he first met Isma and her attempts to patch the cut on his head only led to his nose gushing from seeing her chest.
- One-Hit Kill: His enchanted dagger is so ridiculously hot that anything it stabs will be instantly cooked from the inside out. His combat technique basically consists of using his much more ordinary sword to create an opening so that he can end the fight with a single stab.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: He felt like this when Schierke entered the party. Everyone immediately recognized her powers and followed her lead, while he struggled to be taken seriously even though he was there first. Over time he manages to find his place and feel less insecurity.
- Phrase Catcher: Each of the prostitutes he meets—Luca, Fouquet, and Nina—have the same question when they notice him: "Who's the monkey?"
- Playing with Fire: The dagger from Flora given to him by Schierke has a blade magically crafted from molten lava and imbued with the spirits of fire lizards, causing anything struck with it to ignite and burn.
- Please Put Some Clothes On: When he rescues Casca and Nina in volume 19, he notices Nina's nakedness and starts blushing. Too embarrassed to look at her or say anything, he turns his back while slouching and holding his legs together to hide his Raging Stiffie, and hands her his coat so she can cover herself. A true Chivalrous Pervert indeed!
- Plucky Comic Relief: Alongside Puck, his harebrained antics including sword training, theft, and trash talking generate most of the regular comedy in the party. Downplayed, as he has characterization outside of comedy, but still counts because he doesn't have as much emotional baggage as the others.
- Raging Stiffie: A Running Gag is his tendency to get a hard-on from being aroused at inappropriate times, which he awkwardly tries to hide by slouching.
- Red Oni: He's the passionate, headstrong, and wild Red Oni to Schierke's level-headed and rational Blue Oni.
- The Runaway: About a year before he met Guts he ran away from his home village in order to escape his boring life and seek fame and fortune.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Isidro has a downplayed version of this attitude that comes partly from his macho act, and partly from his sense of chivalry. He sometimes complains about having to 'guard the women and children' (by which he means Farnese, Casca, and Schierke) instead of being free to fight huge monsters like Guts and Serpico, but he acknowledges that Schierke is really strong and takes his job seriously. In particular he warns Isma to stay away from the fighting based on the not unreasonable assumption that she doesn't know how, but when he sees that she's surprisingly good at it he is quick to praise her ingenuity.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In terms of ability, he's a great with thrown weapons and has taken up Dual Wielding, which makes his skill set very similar to Judeau. In terms of personality he's similar to Corkus, who like him was a disrespectful former thief who claimed he was only following the gang for his own advancement, and was also prone to bragging. Thankfully, compared to Corkus, Isidro's heart of gold isn't so deeply buried.
- Tagalong Kid: At first he follows uninvited after Guts because of his hero worship and acts as little more than a nuisance to him. This gets increasingly downplayed starting when he helps to rescue Casca and Nina, and before too long, he's pulling his own weight in the party.
- To Be a Master: Isidro's whole motivation behind following Guts around, even if his plan doesn't seem that practical at times.
- Took a Level in Badass: His breakthrough in swordmanship happens when he defeats the troll leader. After almost being killed in his last fight, and being told by Guts to take responsibility for holding a weapon and protect the others in his stead, Isidro finally drops his pride and begins utilizing the natural advantages of his size and speed. This simple change catapulted him straight from The Load to a formidable fighting force in his own right.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: At first he and Schierke simply hate each other, but over time they grow to depend on one another even though the insults remain as sharp as ever.
- Vocal Dissonance: In the 2004 videogame Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō, Isidro's voice courtesy of Hiroyuki Yoshino sounds implausibly grown-up for his age.
- Volleying Insults: He and Schierke argue with each other like cats and dogs on a regular basis, using increasingly petty name calling and put-downs. He also trades insults with Mule in Vritannis while they're punching the crap out of each other's faces.
- Weak, but Skilled: He doesn't have the raw combat experience that Guts and Serpico possess, and whenever he tries to fight with a sword, he tends to make a fool of himself. However, Isidro performs much better whenever he relies on his cunning, trickery, and ability to throw things with deadly accuracy, which has allowed him to defeat and outfox monsters and groups of grown men all by himself.
- Weapon of Choice: For a long time he tried to use an adult-sized longsword, but it didn't work in his favor since it was too big. He was then given a dagger blessed by the fire spirits, but at the time he didn't fully recognize its potential. He finally receives a small falchion from Morgan of Enoch village, who thought that it would compliment his small stature and speed. This works out a lot better. He's since been able to use the fire dagger more aptly.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Believes himself the main protagonist of a Shōnen fighting series, when he's actually in a more cynical Seinen work.
Schierke (シールケ, Shīruke)
Voiced by: Yukana (Japanese, Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō), Chiwa Saito (Japanese, Berserk (2016) and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk), Mela Lee (English, Berserk (2016)
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 120 cm (3 ft, 11 in); Weight: 31 kg (68 lb, 5.5 oz); Age: 13
"No matter their strength, for a human, to fight a monster means to let go of their humanity and become an even bigger monster."A precociously intelligent but socially inept young magic user apprenticed to the benevolent witch Flora, Schierke first encounters Guts' companions when she saves Casca, Farnese, and Isidro from a pack of trolls in the woods near Enoch village. She and Isidro immediately dislike each other, as she views the rambunctious boy as an uncivilized 'monkey' while he sees her as a stuck-up know-it-all. She lends her powers to Guts and his companions at the request of Flora, who wishes them to stop the rampaging trolls in return for her help on their quest.Schierke is at first a reluctant companion, as she distrusts the non-magical folk and their Church who have suppressed magic through their intolerance. She has a strong sense of justice, and is often appalled at how humans mistreat both nature and each other. However, she gradually warms up to her new friends, especially towards Guts whom she develops a Precocious Crush on. After the destruction of the woodland mansion she sets off with Guts and his companions in their quest to reach Elfhelm.In combat, Schierke is a Squishy Wizard who has to be protected by the frontline fighters of the party, as her powerful spells take time to cast and she has no control over her physical body when she uses astral projection. Her help is invaluable as she can wipe out whole armies of enemies using elemental magic, helps coordinate the group's actions through thought transference, and is the only person who can enable Guts to use the Berserker Armor's power while keeping his sanity. She has a smart-mouthed female elf companion named Ivalera, and is currently tutoring Farnese in magic.For those who have trouble pronouncing her name, which comes from German, an American English speaker should read it as they would pronounce "SHEER-keh."
- Animal Motifs: According to Sonia, Schierke is represented by an owl, an animal that signifies intelligence and is associated with Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom.
- Astral Projection: One of her main powers is to leave her body in spirit form, which allows her to summon spirits and merge with Guts and the Berserker Armor.
- Badass Adorable: Very cute. Will tear you apart with her magic powers if you commit evil in front of her.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Averted; being a child doesn't exempt her from being drawn anatomically correct. Since everyone gets naked in this series, it doesn't come off creepy.
- Berserk Button: Gets really angry and upset when Isidro messes with her hat. Flora made her witch clothes for her, and now that she's gone, they're all that Schierke has left from her.
- Black Bead Eyes: Her eyes are drawn as little black dots when she's in an off mood (usually involving Isidro annoying her).
- Blue Oni: She's the level-headed and rational Blue Oni to Isidro's passionate, headstrong, and wild Red Oni.
- Charm Person: When Schierke is led to a gallows by the souls of hanged Kushan slaves who are suffering for lack of proper last rites, she demands that the two soldiers present help her take them down for cremation, and they comply. She tells Sonia afterward that she used something akin to suggestion on them.
- Child Mage: She is both the team's spellcaster and the youngest member of the party.
- Eating the Eye Candy: While applying a protective seal over the Brand while Guts' shirtless, Schierke notes how large and strong his back is and begins blushing.
- Glass Cannon: Hits hard with her magic, but is still a child and vulnerable to just about any physical attack.
- Humans Are Bastards: Schierke believes this at first. She observes that people have harmed nature and the old spirits by building cities where no spirits can reside and suppressing belief in magic through their Church, and that all sorts of evils including war and slavery are practiced. However, her views may be gradually softening to Humans Are Flawed by meeting and helping people who are trying to make a difference.
- Jedi Mind Trick: Gets the guards at the gates of Vritannis to let her through despite her witch outfit by magically diverting their attention. It gets counterproductive when she starts doing it to anyone in sight, which makes an even bigger scene, and Isidro tells her to just change her outfit already.
- Kid with the Leash: The only party member capable of bringing Berserker Guts back to his senses, and the only person other than the Child who can do it at all.
- Little Miss Badass: This little girl is capable of unleashing untold amounts of destruction. And she can stare down things that would reduce most grown men to tears without batting an eye.
- Little Miss Snarker: She was around 11 or 12 when she was first introduced, and bitingly sarcastic towards those who get on her nerves, especially Isidro.
- Loner-Turned-Friend: Lived alone except for her master, but has since become True Companions with Guts and the others.
- Magic Hair: Uses locks of her hair as a catalyst in some of her spells.
- Magic Wand: Focuses her magic through her staff.
- Making a Splash: Washed away the besieging trolls in Enoch Village by summoning a great flood.
- Meaningful Name: Her name is the one of a mountain village in Germany, which is right next to the Brocken - the mountain of witches.
- Meganekko: When she isn't in battle and needs to do something requiring concentration such as repainting the talisman around Guts' brand, she wears a large pair of spectacles.
- The Mentor: Schierke is mentoring Farnese in magic.
- A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Peeking into Guts's mind exposes her to the full force of his rage and hatred, but she helps him wrest control of himself from the Beast of Darkness. More humorously, when she looks into Isidro's mind and sees what he's seeing, she gets an eyeful of Isma's cleavage.
- Mission Control: Much like Sonia, her telepathic abilities make her one of these.
- Nature Lover: Because she grew up in the woods in harmony with nature, she loves natural surroundings and hates the city with its crowds, noise, and lack of places for the spirits.
- No Social Skills: She's been isolated all her childhood long from the rest of the world and is a bit awkward in social situations because of this; however it is highly compensated in the refined etiquette Flora, her mistress, taught her.
- Number Two: Despite being the youngest member of the group, she's Guts' closest confidante, and her ability to travel with him via her astral body and suppress the Beast of Darkness's influence means she's the only character who can follow Guts into the heat of battle.
- Playing with Fire: Can unleash fire as one of her elemental powers, such as when she incinerated a swarm of Daka on the docks of Vritannis by summoning a spirit called the Wheel of Flame.
- Precocious Crush: Though she disliked Guts at first, she has grown to admire and develop precocious feelings for him since the end of the Chapter of the Holy Demon War, which Ivalera gleefully teases her about. By the Fantasia Arc, Schierke is coming to accept that their relationship will always be platonic, but she takes comfort in the fact that she experiences a bond with him through their astral connection that no one else in the party shares with him.
- Robe and Wizard Hat: Her witch clothes are the only outfit she wears, and Isidro finds out the hard way that she is very attached to them as they were hand-made for her by her beloved mentor.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: When she is given a set of normal clothing by an innkeeper's wife so she won't stand out on the streets of Vritannis in her witches' clothes, everyone in the party agrees she looks great.
- Shy Blue-Haired Girl: She has poor social skills and has bluish green hair.
- Simple Staff: She channels her powers through her staff.
- Skilled, but Naïve: Rather than having a straight up Fatal Flaw. Schierke is young and incredibly skilled at what she does. Unfortunately, due to her lack of experience in the outside world, both in social and magical terms, she sometimes lets her immense power go over her head, with some consequences. She's learning from her mistakes, though.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Translations might call her either Schierke or Silke, probably since Japanese lacks the distinction between the sounds for "r" and "l".
- Squishy Wizard: Despite her tremendous spiritual strength and advanced spellcasting skills, she is the physically weakest of the party, as well as the only one who has no weapons training.
- This Is Unforgivable!: While speaking with the Skull Knight at the seashore, she says it's unforgivable that Griffith ordered his troops to eliminate her mentor Flora because she was a threat to his power.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: At first she and Isidro simply hate each other, but over time they grow to depend on one another even though the insults remain as sharp as ever.
- Volleying Insults: She often gets into juvenile name-calling arguments with Isidro.
- Weapon of Choice: Wields no weapon except for her Simple Staff, which she uses as a conduit of her magic.
- Willing Channeler: Schierke's greatest elemental magics require her to summon the elemental spirit of a particular place and allow it to partially possess her body as she casts the spell. It is a mutually beneficial exchange rather than one party exploiting the other, but Schierke must be careful not to let the outside presence's power overwhelm her ego or the results can be dangerous.
- Wise Beyond Her Years: She is one of the most level-headed member of the current True Companions, although she remains somewhat naive sometimes.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: So far, the only human character in the whole story to have a non-generic hair colour, in her case bluish green.
- Young and In Charge: Schierke is only about 13 by the Chapter of Elf Island, and yet she is arguably the de facto leader of the party because she is wise and powerful beyond her years. If Guts is the Magnetic Hero who inspires and unites them, Schierke is the one who actually knows how to get to Elfhelm, coordinates everyone's combat through thought transference, and figures out a plan whenever they encounter some magical obstacle. Sometimes her youthful insecurity causes her to doubt herself, but when all's said and done her rational thinking and courage under pressure are the things that make her the rock whose stability everyone relies on.
Puck and Ivalera
Puck (パック, Pakku)
Voiced by: Yuriko Fuchizaki (Japanese, Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage and Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō), Kaoru Mizuhara (Japanese, Berserk (2016) and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk), Cam Clarke (English, Sword of the Berserk: Guts' Rage), Sarah Williams (English, Berserk (2016))
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 15 cm (6 in); Weight: 20 g (0.7 oz)
Ivalera (イバレラ, Ibarera)
Voiced by: Yukari Tamura (Japanese, Berserk: Millennium Falcon Hen Seima Senki no Shō), Satomi Arai (Japanese, Berserk (2016) and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk)
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 17 cm (6.7 in); Weight: 18 g (0.6 oz)
"Aw, c'mon! You know this story would be too dark if I weren't around!"*
"For crying out loud! Right when I think he's healed and his wounds haven't opened for three days, he's already ragged and torn all over! I'm gonna shrivel up! My maidenly skin is gonna dry up!"A duo of diminuative pixies whose comic antics sometimes cause trouble, Puck and Ivalera can nevertheless offer valuable advice in the midst of battle and help Guts patch up after fights using their magical healing dust.Puck is a goofy but kindhearted soul who was a member of a traveling circus before they were attacked by the bandits of Koka Castle. He was being used as a target for throwing knife practice when Guts killed his tormentors, and despite Guts' efforts to shake him off he insisted on becoming his Fairy Companion and Morality Chain. He can also act as a Deadpan Snarker and occasionally breaks the fourth wall. He usually travels in Guts' pouch and shows a strange attachment to the Behelit Guts is carrying with him - which they took from the Count - and prevented him several times from getting rid of it.Ivalera was responsible for watching over Schierke while she was Flora's apprentice, and joined the party together with her human charge. She's snarky and full of herself, playing off of Puck in a Boke and Tsukkomi Routine.
- Adapted Out: Puck is left out of the 1997-98 anime, probably because the Black Swordsman arc is shortened and he would only appear at the very beginning if included. He has been included in all adaptations since then.
- Armor-Piercing Slap:
- Guts initially treats Puck's tantrums with about as much concern as he would a mosquito, but every now and then when Puck is genuinely mad, he'll manage to land a blow that Guts actually feels. They usually just make his eyes water, but for a little guy, that's not bad.
- Those weird dandelion blades Puck produces actually seem pretty potent against the ghosts. He'll usually let loose on the off chance that Guts is knocked out and at the mercy of any kind of bottom rung mook.
- Art Shift: Puck spends most of his time as a chibi, which is his default state when he's being funny. He only gets to look real when he's being serious(ish). Ivalera isn't exempt from this either.
- Audience Surrogate: Puck more or less served this role during the Black Swordsman Story Arc, allowing the audience to observe Guts as a ruthless Anti-Hero from the perspective of an innocent bystander who doesn't know Guts' past.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Despite being totally naked, Puck looks like a Ken doll with no private parts to be seen. This actually becomes significant in the Lost Children arc where it distinguishes him from Rosine's fake elves. We've never seen Ivalera without her dress, so we don't know if it applies to her.
- Big Eater: They can both eat many times their own weight in food, as they demonstrated at the Vandimion mansion in Vritannis where they consumed all the dinner sweets meant for a huge party in one sitting.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: They sometimes draw attention to the fact that they're in a fictional story, usually with a random Shout-Out to another anime show in the midst of a heated battle.
- Cat Smile: Ivalera gets a mischievous cat grin when she starts shipping Schierke and Guts together.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Zigzagged a bit since the story starts in the middle, but Puck is briefly mentioned during the Golden Age arc by Judeau, but later becomes Guts' first travel companion when he's the Black Swordsman. Puck actually makes reference to the manner in which they became companions.
- City Mouse: Ivalera tends to act haughty around other elves, being of the opinion that they're all a bunch of ill-mannered bumpkins. Ironically, due to the higher elven population and the fact that it's ruled by the sovereign of elves, Elfhelm is more akin to a city than the spirit tree Ivalera came from.
- The Conscience: Puck tries to be this to Guts. He's not too successful at first because Guts doesn't give a damn about the morality of his actions most of the time, but after they've been through a lot together Guts begins listening to him more.
- Curtains Match the Window: Ivalera has pink eyes and hair, and Puck has blue hair and blue eyes.
- Deadpan Snarker: Both of them constantly snark at the events that occur around them.Puck (to Guts): I thought you didn't have any friends. Who knew you were friends with a monster?(to the Skull Knight): Ah, not to be racist to monsters. This guy is so lonely, please be friends with him. My name is Puck!
- Demoted to Extra: In Berserk: The Golden Age Arc III - Advent, Puck's cameo with the traveling entertainers is non-speaking, compared to the manga scene where he had some lines. Downplayed because his appearance in the Golden Age was very small to begin with.
- In general, Puck's role in the story has diminished over time. At first, as Guts's only companion, he was Guts's moral compass when he could actually get Guts to listen. And he got multiple serious moments because of this. And he served as Guts's medic with his fairy powers. However, as more companions have joined their party and taken over those roles, Puck has mostly become relegated to comic relief, rarely appearing in his non-chibi form or in any serious scenarios.
- Determinator: It takes Puck a looong time, but eventually all the free healing he keeps providing pays off and Guts becomes more friendly to him. The pivotal moment comes in volume 16 when Guts finally calls Puck by his name. After that, they become Vitriolic Best Buds. It's a big step forward since back in the early manga, Guts came close to flat-out offing Puck a few times. Rickert eventually points out that Puck was the only thing keeping Guts human during his two-year demon hunts.
- Distaff Counterpart: Ivalera is a female counterpart to Puck.
- The Empath: Both of them can sense the inner emotions of others, which makes Puck a Rare Male Example of this. Puck is often overwhelmed by Guts' intensely hostile emotions during the whole Conviction Arc, especially when both were Walking the Earth.
- Fairy Companion: Diminutive fairy sidekicks who follow their human charges, offering advice and magical healing. Puck is Guts' companion, while Ivalera is Schierke's.
- Fairy Sexy: Ivalera isn't naked like Puck, but her gossamer dress leaves little to the imagination, and the skirt is only just barely long enough to cover her rear, and there are times when it will hike up and expose it.
- Fluffy Tamer: Puck is the self-appointed caretaker of the gang's Behelit. According to him, reality-warping demonic gateways to the netherworld powered by despair and hopelessness are quite fond of cheese.
- Foil: During the Black Swordsman Arc, he and Guts make a contrasting pair: Puck is small and weak, while Guts is big and strong; Puck is kind and altruistic, while Guts is callous and selfish; and Puck wears his emotions on his sleeve, while Guts is stoic and guarded; and Puck tends to be idealistic and believe Rousseau Was Right, while Guts is cynical and tends toward Humans Are Bastards.
- Foreshadowing: Ever since Guts took the Count's behelit from Vargas, Puck has grown strangely attached to it and prevented Guts from disposing of it several times. Even though it is not known whether or not astral creatures can use it, one still has to remember that nothing is incidental in Berserk. Nothing.
- Healing Hands: Both of them can heal wounds with their magic elf powder. The whole reason Guts started travelling with Puck was because he saved his life by healing him from severe injuries.
- Large Ham: Puck gets boisterously egotistical when he's clowning around, calling himself "ore-sama" (roughly, "my illustrious self") and acting like he's the one unleashing Guts against the monsters, as well as bossing around Isidro as his fencing pupil in "elf dimension style."
- Light 'em Up: Puck is able to cast a dazzling spark and can sometime help in battle by blinding enemies with this power.
- Morality Chain: Puck often acts as the voice of morality when Guts is at his most violent and vengeful. Rickert thinks that Puck's presence was the main reason that Guts didn't completely lose himself during two years of hunting Apostles.
- Mr. Exposition: Ivalera has taken this role for the team a few times when Schierke was unable to. She instructed Farnese in how to call Schierke back when she was "mixed" with the river spirit and told Isma about true names.
- Non-Action Snarker: Ivalera is a Rare Female Example. She talks shit, yet she doesn't do shit.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Being surrounded by people who can't see the supernatural (at least the non-aggressors), including Puck, a lot of people who encounter Guts wonder what he is talking to.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: Puck turns out to have four brothers named Pick, Pack, Peck, and Pock, each of whom has a different number of spikes in their hairstyle to help differentiate them.
- Our Fairies Are Different: Puck and Ivalera are tiny, youthful humanoids with insect wings who produce magical dust and serve as benevolent fairy companions. In the world of Berserk they are called pixies or piskeys, a sub-category of elves who are weak wind spirits.
- Parrot Pet Position: Both of them often perch on their humans' shoulders, though that isn't the only position they use. Ivalera likes to sit on the brim of Schierke's hat, while Puck often rides in Guts' pouch.
- Pink Girl, Blue Boy: They're color coded by gender. Ivalera's hair, eyes, wings, and dress are pink, while Puck's hair, eyes, and wings are blue.
- Plucky Comic Relief: Puck mostly serves as the comedic foil to Guts's grim seriousness, a role shared with Ivalera when she joins the party.
- The Prankster: Half the population of Skellig has it in for Puck because of all the pranks he's played on them.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Puck is a nonviolent, gentle, and empathetic male, in contrast to Guts who represents a tough, stoic kind of masculinity.
- Shipper on Deck: Ivalera tries to push Schierke toward Guts and teases her about her Precocious Crush, which usually gets her stuffed in Schierke's hat. In general, she has a weak spot for romance, as shown by her enthusiastic recounting of Roderick's first meeting with Farnese.
- Shout-Out: Puck frequently performs funny impressions of characters from other stories. His repetoire includes Yoda, Doraemon, and the Danpei from Ashita no Joe.
- The Slacker: As he puts it himself, Puck's ultimate goal in life is to be the "King of Deadbeats" — free to eat all the snacks and loaf around all day. According to Danann, he is so bad at taking responsibilities that the very act of making him ruler of Elfhelm is to condemn the place into becoming a refuse pile. Also something of a Downplayed Trope as, while he is indeed lazy for the most part, Puck's also proven to be capable of small acts of heroism when it truly counts — like rescuing a collapsed and exhausted Guts from being possessed by a group of weak evil spirits.
- Small, Annoying Creature: Puck is a small, cutesy Fairy Companion sidekick who follows Guts while cracking jokes and nagging him to have a better attitude. At first Guts is annoyed by him and threatens to squash him like a bug a couple of times. It's only when Puck proves useful in his constant healing and driving away ghosts that Guts warms up to him. Schierke's Fairy Companion Ivalera shares this role for the group after she's introduced.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Ivalera is a bit full of herself.
- Super-Deformed: When acting as comic relief, Puck is drawn with a stubby, plump body and chestnut-shaped head. Ivalera gets similarly chibified when playing tsukkomi to Puck's boke.
- The Reveal: Puck is... *Drum Roll*I'm a spirit of the wind??? The shocking truth revealed now! I wasn't a chestnut!!?
- Team Pet: Both Puck and Ivalera are the party's token nonhuman members.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Schierke is always practical, serious and frumpily dressed. Ivalera somewhat vain and more openly girly.
- The Usurper: Played for laughs. At Magnifico's urging, Puck tries to usurp the position of Elfhelm's ruler upon the party's arrival there. Naturally, he fails.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Ivalera views Puck as an annoying goofball, but for all that they're inseparable companions and often cooperate, such as when they scouted the Vandimion mansion. For a time, one could say Puck and Guts had this relationship going as well, since Guts frequently complained that Puck was annoying but accepted and acknowledged his help.
- Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Ivalera definitely considers Puck a lesser being.
- Women Are Wiser: Ivalera thinks she's this compared to Puck, but she's really Not So Above It All.
- You Won't Like How I Taste: When left alone with Theresia, Puck assumes she's going to eat him and tries to talk her out of it:"Uh...I'm not very tasty. E-elves aren't very good for your digestion, y'know, not to mention we're high in calories."
Sir Azan (アザン, Azan)
Voiced by: Hiroki Yasumoto (Berserk (2016) and Berserk and the Band of the Hawk)
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 157 cm (5 ft, 2 in); Weight: 95 kg (209 lb, 7 oz); Age: 46
"Don't give up, knights are here to protect those in need! A knight's duty is to protect the weak!"Azan is the second in command of the Holy Iron Chains Knights. An old-fashioned knight who has turned to the cloth, he always speaks of honor and loyalty. When the Holy Iron Chains Knights catch up to Guts, he challenges Guts to a duel, matching the injured Guts in combat. Azan manages to survive the events of the Tower of Conviction and decides to report the events to the Holy See, while Farnese and Serpico follow Guts.He later reappears in Vritannis, living on the streets after having been kicked out of the Holy See and sleeping on boats. The pirate captain fighting Isidro steps on him, which prompts Azan to throw him into the water and beat up the rest of the pirates. Guts and his companions later end up sailing off with the boat he is sleeping on to Roderick's ship. As such, he is currently accompanying Guts towards Elfhelm.
- 24-Hour Armor: Since he was kicked out of the Holy See, he's been running around clad in full plate, taking not even his helmet off to sleep. Since he's been pulled along on Roderick's ship he's been seen in and out of his armor, but never takes off his helmet.
- Acrofatic: Stout and stocky, but capable of leaping about and swinging his staff at hurricane level speeds.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Downplayed in that he is second-in-command, not the leader of the Holy Iron Chains Knights, but he still has authority and he kicks ass.
- Badass Cape: Wears a cape as a sign of his old-fashioned heroism.
- Badass Grandpa: Well out of his prime, Azan is still quite capable of kicking ass and managed to be a match for an injured Guts.
- Badass Mustache: Wears a manly mustache on his face, and has a simulated mustache on his helmet. Even his horse's shaffron has mustache!
- Badass Normal: Has no superpowers whatsoever, but manages to survive all sorts of supernatural danger.
- Bald of Awesome: Bald, badass, and unambiguously heroic.
- Big Damn Heroes: Prone to making dramatic rescues in the nick of time, such as when he pops out of nowhere at the end of the Conviction arc and saves the women from the Bakirakas, and also in Vritannis when he saves Isidro and a group of kushan children from pirates.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Has the kind of bushy eyebrows seen on cool old guys who can still kick your ass.
- Calling Your Attacks: One of the few good characters to shout out the names of his attacks. "Summer Showers Thrust!!"
- Carry a Big Stick: His Weapon of Choice is a club-ended metal quarterstaff.
- Celibate Hero: In response to Serpico's teasing him for still being single at his age, he retorts that he's something of a clergyman and has no intention of ever wedding.
- Chained by Fashion: All the Holy Iron Chain Knights wear a simple emblem depicting the cross of chains representing their order. Azan wears actual chains on his armor linked in the shape of said emblem.
- Church Militant: Part of a military order and fights for the Church.
- The Comically Serious: A lot of humor comes from him being stoic or serious in the face of ridiculous situations.
- Cool Helmet: His is a samurai-style kabuto with a face mask, which as mentioned above even has a Badass Mustache of its own.
- Cool Old Guy: Despite his age he is active, tough, honorable, and wise.
- Enemy Mine: Allies with Guts at the end of the Conviction arc to fight the Bakirakas.
- The Faceless: Has not taken off his helmet ever since his reintroduction in Vritannis. He even cleans a ship's deck wearing nothing but pants and the helmet.
- A Father to His Men: Acts much like a father to the young men who makes up the Holy Iron Chains Knights, deciding to take on Guts himself rather than send more of his young men to senseless deaths. They look up to him as one too, cheering his fight against Guts and apologizing humbly after he scolds them for their behavior.
- Good Old Ways: Azan adheres to the traditional courtesies and practices of knighthood, and is shown to be a good man for it despite being a little behind the times. When Serpico sees him formally exchange names with Guts, he remarks "How old-fashioned."
- Heavy Sleeper: Somehow he managed to sleep off the entire duration of a raging battle throughtout a city, thunderous booms of magical lightning, and people sailing off with the boat he's sleeping on. Add the fact that he snoozed through them all while still wearing full plate... and it gets ridiculous.
- Hero Antagonist: Definitely one of the very few good and heroic people in Midland at the time, he just happens to be opposing Guts until the end of the Conviction arc.
- Honor Before Reason: His backstory alone says everything about how he views the knight's code of chivalry. Azan once held up a hundred horsemen from crossing a narrow bridge just so he could escort one wounded old man to the opposite end.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Because of his own idealistic nature, he has no doubt that Mr. Zepek has noble fatherly intentions in leading them to the Black Swordsman, when in reality, the latter is a Jerkass Glory Seeker.
- Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Technically Farnese's second-in-command, but he is far more experienced and level-headed than she is.
- Idiot Hero: Downplayed. Azan's not the brightest bulb of the crew and frequently puts his chivalrous sense of right and wrong over reason. That being said, he's still a warrior who's competent enough to put a wounded Guts on the ropes (which is a big feat, considering that Guts has been able to overcome a ton of obstacles despite grave injuries).
- Knight Errant: After being kicked out of the Holy See he turns to traveling and righting wrongs, even though he has to scrounge for his dinner.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Despite his advanced age he is a pure example of an honor-bound and idealistic knight.
- Large Ham: In battle he issues formal challenges, calls out his attacks, and lectures any villains who fight dishonorably while he's beating them to a pulp — all the while speaking in a heavily grandiose manner. Making his every move dramatic is just an unavoidable side effect of taking knighthood and justice so seriously.*spinning his staff over his head*
Azan: Get back, get back, get WEEEEEEEEEELL back!
- Lightning Bruiser: Packs quite a punch with his iron staff and is amazingly fast despite his size and girth. Guts even notes that the rumors of his speed were understated.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Despite doing his best to save the civilians trapped at the Tower of Conviction from the hordes of evil spirits seeking to devour them, he fails thanks in part due to Guts' intervention. Then, he gets deserted by Farnese and Serpico when they decide to follow Guts' lead and ultimately ends up getting fired by the clergy for his shortcomings.
- Not So Different: Recently he was shown to be a little taller than Dwarfs and was seen happily dancing with them.
- Number Two: Serves as second-in-command to Farnese in the Holy Iron Chains Knights.
- Old Soldier: Getting on in years, but he's still fighting with as much vigor as ever.
- One-Man Army: Once stood against and prevented about a hundred horsemen from crossing a bridge to protect the wounded old man guarding it, thus earning his Red Baron nickname.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: He hasn't taken off his helmet since getting dragged onto Roderick's ship because he would rather not be recognized by his old cohorts. They aren't fooled at all. Hell, calling it a disguise is pushing it, considering it's the same, very unique looking, helmet that he always wore around them.
- Red Baron: Renowned as the Bridge Knight for his One-Man Army feat, and also goes by the less-savory name: 'Iron Staff Demon Azan'. Even Guts had heard of his story.
- Samurai: Despite being from the Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Europe he injects a bit of samurai flavor into the story, wearing distinctly Japanese-looking armor and sharing traits with the Japanese Folk Hero Musashibo Benkei.
- Sixth Ranger: For Guts' new companions, having unwittingly become a stowaway on Roderick's ship.
- Stout Strength: Has a large belly, but it's packed with muscle. Strength comes from your core, folks!
- Straight Man: In the Holy Iron Chains Knights he serves as the straight man to Serpico's jokester behavior.
- Weapon of Choice: Wields an iron staff with clubbed ends to bludgeon his enemies, and is known as Iron Club Azan. This may be a reference to the common but not necessarily accurate belief that fighting priests preferred weapons that wouldn't draw blood.
- Worthy Opponent: Upon seeing what Guts is capable of, he tells the young knights to stand back and let him do it, whereupon he issues a formal challenge to Guts as a knight. He also dresses down his men for wanting to kill a defeated Guts, telling them not to disrespect an opponent who fought well according to the rules of combat.
Roderick of Schtauffen (ロデリック・オブ・シュタウフェン, Roderikku obu Shutaufen)
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 188 cm (6 ft, 2 in); Weight: 77 kg (169 lb, 12 oz); Age: 27
"It looks bad when a princess protects a knight."An old friend of Farnese's brother Magnifico, Roderick is the third in line to the royal throne of Iith and a ship's captain in the Iith navy. What's more, he is also Farnese's new Fiancée as part of an Arranged Marriage planned by Magnifico in order to further cement their alliance. Rash and daring, yet at the same time charming and handsome, he seems to show a personal interest in Farnese due to her reputation as a Rebellious Princess despite his obvious ulterior motives. Disapproving of his father and his country's isolationist foreign policy and lack of will to use their naval power, he wishes to explore uncharted seas and conquer unknown lands and sympathizes with Magnifico's wish to surpass his father and seize the day.He joins Guts and his party late in the story line, making him The Sixth Ranger, after proposing to transport them to Skellig on his ship, the Seahorse. He also wants to use this opportunity to spend some time with his wife-to-be. He was very impressed to see the skills of Guts against the Kushan's familiars in Vritannis and immediately accepted him as a leader, while Guts and his companions defer to Roderick regarding the mundane matters of sailing and ship-to-ship combat.In battle, Roderick uses a straight sword and seems to be a decently skilled fighter, but his true talent is commanding ships in naval battles.
- Agent Mulder: As opposed to majority of the other Vritannis nobles, Roderick actually finds himself fascinated by the otherworldly sights and monsters that Guts' group tends to attract.
- Amazon Chaser: While it's a bit downplayed in that Farnese is a Rebellious Princess rather than an outright Action Girl, Roderick considers her far more interesting than the shallow noblewomen he's seen who all look and act the same as each other. The more he sees of her inner strength, the more he likes her.
- Arranged Marriage: He is engaged to Farnese through Magnifico's arrangement as part of their scheme to unite their houses. Still, he is actually interested in Farnese as a person and not just as part of an alliance.
- Badass Normal: A regular human but he can still stand toe-to-toe with familiars or minor demons and is a highly effective admiral in command of his own ship.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Has a manly pair of eyebrows to show that he's both a badass and a Hunk.
- The Captain: On the Seahorse, he's the man in charge and every crew member and passenger is his responsibility. However, he defers to Guts as the party leader on land and in all matters of monster-slaying.
- Cool Boat: The Seahorse, his personal warship, which is as beautiful as she is deadly in the hands of her captain and crew.
- Courtly Love: How he manifests his interest for Farnese, as could be expected from a nobleman of his time.
- Dance of Romance: At the ball he invites Farnese to dance with him, perhaps hoping to invoke this trope's favor. While she accepts modestly and seems affected by his charm, it's likely she was thinking of Guts and her old companions the whole time.
- A Father to His Men: Cares about each and every member of his crew, who adore and respect him in return.
- Grand Romantic Gesture: On his first meeting with Farnese he makes a gift to her of a whole greenhouse full of roses. Compounding the gesture, he compliments her uniqueness by explaining that roses—like most daughters of nobility—all look the same to him, and that they are really only fit to adorn her, a white lily of the field which doesn't scatter even in a strong wind.
- Hunk: Between the massive, scary-looking Guts and good looking, but rather lanky Serpico, Roderick provides us (and Farnese) with some eye pleasing, well balanced manliness.
- I Kiss Your Hand: Upon being introduced to Farnese by Magnifico he gently kisses her hand.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Roderick seems to be very sympathetic about Farnese's crush on Guts. On one occasion he even regrets saying that Guts trusts her with what's most important to him, i.e. Casca, thinking he might have hurt Farnese's feelings.
- Love at First Sight: It only took one meeting for him to decide that he was in love with Farnese.
- Nice Guy: Roderick is chivalrous, polite, and kind, and extends his generosity to all of his fiancée's companions.
- Officer and a Gentleman: An aristocratic and educated naval officer who excels in warfare but never fails to be fair, courteous, and polite—especially to ladies.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Highly respected by his men for being fair, experienced, and level-headed.
- Red Baron: Famous on the high seas as "The Sailing Prince of Eath" for the feat of defeating five Tudor warships using only one vessel.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Despite his royal importance, he leads by example and doesn't consider it beneath his dignity to do things such as dive into the sea to rescue others, take part in fighting, or explore the mouths of dead sea monsters.
- Shirtless Scene: Gets a couple chances to show off off that chiseled body, such as when he fishes Guts out of the ocean and later when he explores the Sea God's mouth.
- The Sixth Ranger: A late addition to an already assembled party, but for what it's worth he really pulls his weight.
- Slipknot Ponytail: Wore his hair loose once after he rescued Guts from sinking into the ocean because of his steel hand. Turns out he's even more good-looking that way.
- Sailor's Ponytail: Otherwise, he styles his long hair this way.
- Tall, Dark, and Handsome: As tall, dark, and handsome as they get. If this were an old-fashioned pirate movie, he'd probably be the leading man.
- Third-Option Love Interest: To Farnese, if she decides to give up on Guts.
- Understanding Boyfriend: Roderick appreciates Farnese just the way she is and praises her courage and emerging witch powers, despite society in general frowning on such unladylike behavior and distrusting magic. He often encourages her when she's feeling insecure.
- Weapon of Choice: Uses a straight sword or rapier for close quarters, but given a choice between hand-to-hand and ship-to-ship combat, he'll take the latter, and for very good reason: He's a competent swordsman, but a bloody brilliant naval commander.
- Warrior Prince: An expert in naval warfare who sails boldly into danger, and can also handle his sword pretty well.
Magnifico de Vandimion (マニフィコ・ド・ヴァンディミオン, Manifiko do Vandimion)
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 174 cm (5 ft, 8.5 in); Weight: 69 kg (152 lb, 2 oz); Age: 28
"Where can I be safe?"Farnese's slippery and underachieving older brother is a sad case of The Unfavourite. His father, considering his talents to be mediocre, has preferred to give the more important responsibilities to his brothers Giorgio and Poliziano, leaving him only with minor tasks.Ready to do anything to gain his father's attention and recognition, or—failing that—to get out of his father's shadow, he schemed to have his sister marry his best friend, Roderick, in order to unite both their families. In exchange for Farnese's agreement to marry Roderick, Magnifico helped Guts and his companions secure passage to their destination on a ship. At the ball, however, his attempt to announce the engagement failed because of Farnese's sudden disappearance and was rendered moot by the attack of Daiba's monsters. Having no other choice and not wishing to face his father's wrath, he fled aboard Roderick's Seahorse together with Guts' Companions.Cowardly and unusually awkward, he never takes part in physical fights and reacts rather comically to the supernatural happenings he witnesses.
- Art Shift: Due to his status as comic relief, his reactions get drawn in a cartoony fashion.
- Butt-Monkey: Suffers all sorts of humiliations, and it's always Played for Laughs.
- Characterization Marches On: When first introduced, he looked rather handsome, dignified and even came across as a credible schemer with some useful knowledge of business and politics. After his Epic Fail at the ball, however, he gets reduced to an ineffectual coward and Harmless Villain.
- Didn't Think This Through: Pretty much describes any Zany Scheme he cooks up with. One that stands out is his "master plan" to enslave all of Elfhelm's elves and sell them off as human pets. Not only was hiring Puck as his only would-be accomplice a disaster-piece just waiting to happen, the Elf Queen herself points out that, with the Astral and Earth planes converging and elves of all kinds now popping up everywhere in the living world, whatever "exotic trade value" they might've had before is now rendered moot.
- Dirty Coward: Whenever something remotely dangerous happens, he immediately runs and hides.
- The Drag-Along: Got swept along by Guts and company during the chaos in Vritannis before he had a chance to escape. Subsequent events have assured he has no choice but to go with them, which he isn't thrilled about.
- Epic Fail:
- Upon trying to announce Roderick and Farnese's marriage to a huge assembly of nobles, including his father, Farnese has disappeared. Also a Crowning Moment of Funny, complete with Roderick facepalming. Thankfully the awkwardness is broken up by the GIANT DEMON TIGER.
- Then when he gets to Elf Island, his plan to put Puck on the throne is a ludicrous fiasco, resulting in his Cool and Unusual Punishment by being made to help the brownies with their work.
- Family Business: Part of his father's commercial empire, or rather he was until he decided to rebel but ended up stuck with Guts and company instead.
- Freudian Excuse: The reason that he's greedy and irresponsible is that he's always been his father's least favorite son.
- Greed: As soon as he sees any kind of non-threatening supernatural creature or phenomenon, the first thing he thinks of is always some unscrupulous Zany Scheme to monetize it.
- In-Series Nickname: By Elf Island he's picked up a demeaning nickname which Evil Genius translates as "Magni-fool."
- The Load: Much like Farnese when she first joined the party, he has no useful abilities to contribute and is just one more person to protect. Quite unlike his sister, however, he has shown no signs of trying change and learn new skills in order to make himself useful.
- The Magnificent: Magnifico means magnificent or splendid in Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Quite ironic as it's, unfortunately, not a Meaningful Name.
- Nervous Wreck: Very high strung, and totally freaks out whenever the situation turns even slightly against his favor. Made worse for his case since he's a Non-Action Guy.
- Non-Action Guy: The only character of the party to never partake in the action. Even his sister, who is hardly as much of a trained fighter, is more willing to put up a fight than him.
- Not So Different: While he hates his father for manipulating his family and abdicating his responsibility as a parent, Lady Vandimion points out to Magnifico that his use of Farnese as a negotiating tool is no different from that and warns that he will turn out just like his father if he isn't careful.
- Pet the Dog: He does seem to actually care for his sister Farnese, and while he's marrying her off for political reasons he also knows that his best friend is a real gentleman.
- Smug Snake: Sometimes he fancies himself rather clever with his schemes and manipulations, even though any stunt he pulls will usually amount to nothing but embarrassment for him.
- The Starscream: Wishes to overtake his brothers' position in the family business.
- Token Evil Teammate: Tries to be this, but he's rather ineffectual at putting his schemes into action. Ultimately, he's more dim-witted and rude than he is evil.
- The Unfavourite: His father favors his more accomplished brothers and refuses to give him more responsibility, causing Magnifico to feel unappreciated and ignored.
- Upper-Class Twit: Played with. His introduction chapters seem to be setting him up for a shrewd businessman and Manipulative Bastard. But even then, conversations with his parents already give the idea that he's not really as clever as he thinks he is. Then comes his Epic Fail moment at the ball, followed immediately by a rampaging assault of mutated tigers that sends him pissing down his trousers... and just like that, Magnifico's "dashing aura" vanishes into thin air. Subsequent stories from there on out continue to poke fun at his ineptitude, cowardice, and general lack of dignity for a nobleman.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: All he ever wanted was for his father to appreciate him and trust him with more responsibility. If he can't have that, he wants to surpass his father and make him see the error of his judgement.
- Zany Scheme: Tries to convince Roderick that they should conquer Elf Island and sell elves as pets. When Puck overhears this proposal, Magnifico appeases him by offering to make him "king of the elves" in exchange for his cooperation. Later, upon seeing Isma's merrow form, he mutters "this'll make money."
Isma (イスマ, Isuma)
Guidebook Stats:note Height: 152 cm (5 ft); Weight: 44 kg (97 lb); Age: 15
"Sorry to disappoint. I'm human. I swim as well as a merrow, but I could soak in the sea all day and my legs won't turn into a tail fin."Isma is a teenage girl living a solitary existence as a fisherman on a small and remote island. Although she is kind, cheerful, and energetic, she has a sad backstory. Her father was a human fisherman, but her mother was a merrow. She disappeared into the sea before Isma could even remember her, although she left a magical charm on the house to protect her daughter. Isma's father raised her by himself, but four years before the arrival of the Seahorse his boat was capsized by a storm and he died, telling Isma on his deathbed that her mother would come back for her someday. The Island's inhabitants believed that Isma was a merrow and feared that they would attract the wrath of the Sea God by having a merrow among them, so the children bullied Isma and the adults shunned her and talked about her behind her back.Despite her strange parentage she seems to be completely human and has no special powers, making her wonder whether magical creatures such as merrows really exist. Because of this she is immediately excited to meet Isidro, Schierke, Puck, and Ivalera because they are living proof for her that magic is real. Isidro is quite attracted to her, partly because of her relaxed attitude toward nudity, and they might be developing feelings for each other.When the Sea God begins attacking the remaining humans on the Island, Isma takes part in the ensuing battle, during which she learns her true name and gains the ability to take the form of a merrow, and is reunited with her mother. After the sea God is defeated, she decides to accompany her new friends abord the Seahorse on the voyage to Elfhelm.
- All the Other Reindeer: The other islanders believed her to be a merrow, which they thought would invite the displeasure of the sea god, so the children bullied her and the adults shunned and talked about her behind her back. As a result Isma lived by herself and resented the other islanders.
- Apparently Human Merfolk: The merrows of Berserk have the ability to shift from their usual form with gills and a tail to a fully humanoid form that's capable of walking on land and having children with human men. This seems to be how Isma's mother conceived her, but Isma is an apparently normal human girl. Then it turns out she's a merrow too after all.
- Art Shift: When she's being funny she's drawn in a more cartoonish manner.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: She is drawn like this when first depicted spear fishing in the nude, although not when she dives into the sea to save Isidro and turns into a merrow.
- Blinding Bangs: At first she is shown with her bangs covering her eyes. They turn into Peek-a-Bangs after Schierke and Isidro get to know her better and we see both her eyes much more often.
- Curtains Match the Window: She has matching blue eyes and hair.
- Cute Monster Girl: Her merrow form is an archetypal example, and pretty much the only genuinely cute nonhuman in the manga apart from the elves (Rosine is a matter of considerable dispute). Given what almost every other nonhuman gets up to on a regular basis, Beauty Equals Goodness is in full effect here.
- Genki Girl: Isma is bubbly and full of energy, and Isidro gets worn out just watching her rushing around preparing dinner and trying to keep up with her.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Her father was human, and her mother was said to have been a merrow, but Isma seems completely human aside from her aqua-colored hair) and has no special powers. Then it turns out that she really is a merrow after all and can transform between having legs and a tail.
- Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: Gender-flipped in her case. Her father was an ordinary human fisherman, but her mother was supposed to have been a merrow, although she isn't sure whether to believe this.
- I Choose to Stay: She could have stayed in the sea with her mother, but she chose to stick around Isidro and Schierke, her newfound friends.
- Improvised Weapon: During the fight with Captain Sharkrider/Bonebeard, Isma saves Isidro from a close call by throwing navigational instruments at the pirates.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Has absolutely zero qualms about being in the nude in front of others, much to Isidro’s delight, though he tries not to stare too much. On the other hand maybe she's not that innocent, since she spends a lot of time giving Ishidro a clear view of her cleavage and when he's trying to point out that she's grown a tail, the first thing she thinks he's taking about are her breasts, and tells him not to worry since they haven't gotten any smaller.
- I Know Your True Name: She has one, and speaking it is what allows her to transform into merrow form. Ivalera explains that all spiritual beings have one, and that because whoever knows it has power over you it should only be told to someone you can trust.
- Made Myself Sad: When Serpico asks her about herself without suspecting he would remind her of something painful, she begins to explain in her usual cheerful manner that she's the last person left on the island and starts sobbing as she realizes what she's saying in a moment that's played for Bathos.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: As a merrow her voice is a potent weapon.
- Nice Girl: Isma is very hospitable and kind to strangers, letting Isidro and Schierke dry off by her fire and hosting them for dinner.
- No Social Skills: Due to living alone as a social outcast she doesn't know much about interacting with people.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: She has the ability to change at will between a regular human form and a merrow form with gills and a fish tail.
- Parental Abandonment: Her father died four years ago after his boat capsized in a storm, and her mother was gone before she could even remember. During the fight with the Sea God, her mother comes back to save her and help her friends defeat it.
- Properly Paranoid: The townspeople of Isma's village have ostracized her under the assumption that she's a merrow. Eventually, it's revealed that they were right.
- Ship Tease: Isidro is obviously attracted to Isma, and he shows it by trying to impress her with his prowess, treat her with courtesy, and protect her from harm. Isma seems to think Isidro is really cool, appreciates his chivalry, and ends up saving him a couple times, most dramatically when she dives overboard to save him from drowning and transforms into a merrow. It looks like the author is teasing us with some Will They or Won't They? subtext.
- Sole Survivor: The Sea God has turned all the other inhabitants of the island into tentacles by the time the passengers of the Seahorse arrive, a fate that Isma avoids because of her mother's protective charm.
- Stepford Smiler: Downplayed, since she really is a cheerful and energetic person, but the way she describes the loss of her father and being shunned by her neighbors to Schierke and Isidro implies that she's lonelier than she at first lets on.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Isma's hair is bright blue. Justified in that she's not human.
- Weapon of Choice: Uses spears during her daily fishing routine, although she doesn't actually use them in combat. After discovering her merrow powers, she can fight using her voice.
- I Wished You Were Dead: Isma hated the villagers who mistreated her, and while she didn't literally want them to die she often wished they would just disappear. Once the Sea God actually caused this to happen, she feels guilty and regrets having such a wish because now she really is all alone.
- Youthful Freckles: If you look closely, she has freckles on the bridge of her nose, appropriate for a teenager full of youthful energy and naive innocence.